Chilmark: Year of the Dog

It may be the new year, but it is the lights shining in the darkening of day that renew my soul. This is Menemsha‘s own — the annual lobster trap tree. —Valerie Sonnenthal

“Cold” sums up the end of the year. Now it’s 2018, Year of the Dog. January first I looked out over Lucy Vincent Beach, and as if sky had covered the ocean, a cloudy mist of sea smoke floated up from the surface of the water as the sun rose. The afternoon brought a steady stream of dog walkers to the beach. It’s been so cold that Nancy and Joel Aronie slept in clothes, coats, and hats. It’s been so cold our dogs opt for home rather than playing in the snow. It’s been so cold that upper teens begin to seem balmy, and the thirties feel like fall. I never made it to Saturday’s potluck jam, since my son was home packing his car to make the last ferry, and ended up as the only car on the boat. Thanks go out to Alex Karalekas and crew, besides everyone who braved the snow to head out, share food, listen, and perform for our community.

If you like Donald Nitchie’s poetry, you can hear him read, along with New Hampshire poet laureate Alice B. Fogel, Annette Sandrock, and Peter Lederman at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse’s Poetry Cafe, hosted by Arnie Reisman, on Thursday, Jan. 4, from 7 to 9 pm. Admission, $10, includes pie and a hot drink.

The Chilmark Community Church Tuesday winter meals continue through February from 5:30 to 6:30 pm; enjoy free food, conversation, and community. Candle lighting and refreshments included. All are welcome, free, at 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark. For further information call 508-645-3100.

Come to Pathways Arts for the Saturday, Jan. 6, dance event featuring performances by Jesse Keller and Lisa Weiss, Tessa Permar, Corinne De Langavant, Ty Romijn, David Stanwood, and Bruce McNally; also “A Day on the Vineyard” video by Paul Lazes. DJ KOS follows with Dancing for All. Tuesday, Jan. 9, Writer’s Theme is “Making It Last.” Doors open at 6:30 pm and performances/readings start at 7 pm. Mondays join Rebecca Gilbert for knitting from 1 to 3 pm. You can stop by every day but Wednesdays and Sundays, and find a warm environment to work in, Wi-Fi, and computer available. Learn more at

The Chilmark Democratic Committee will meet on Sunday, Jan. 7, from 1 to 2 pm at the Chilmark library and continue to enroll members, vote on bylaws, and plan for their February caucus to elect delegates to the State Convention, which takes place in June. Please come and “activate your political energy for 2018 and beyond.” Contact Margaret Emerson, chair, for more information at 941-441-5072.

It’s your chance to hear herbalist Holly Bellebuono speak about herbs for the brain. Discover how the nervous system works, what neurons do and how they function, and how herbs can influence and strengthen brain functions to improve memory, clarity of thought, and even support those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Learn how to use these herbs in easy foods and meals for prevention and nourishment on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 5 pm at the Chilmark library. For questions or information, the library can be reached at 508-645-3360. Sign up for the new monthly newsletter by emailing to stay up to date on what’s happening. Stories and Song continue on Tuesday and Saturdays at 10:30 am, and the Wednesday afterschool club has started up again.

Come hear Island artist Basia Jaworska speak about “Surviving the Madmen’s War” at the West Tisbury library on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 7 pm. She will share her exploration into both of her parents’ wartime experiences during WWII in Poland, in search of answers to their physical, emotional, and psychological survival during and after the war. Both their teenage lives were upended by the 1939 Nazi and Soviet invasion. Their stories are inspirational, and touch those in need of a guiding light. The Seed Saving Club meets Monday, Jan. 8, at 6 pm; bring seeds to donate or check some out; ask gardening and seed-saving questions or share your experiences. Call 508-693-3366 for more information.

Thomas Bena would like everyone to know his TedX talk is available to watch on his Facebook page, and the film “One Big Home” is now available on iTunes. We look forward to following where his film will take him this year.

Join Roberta Kirn for a Community Sing at the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School from 5 to 6 pm on Wednesday, Jan. 10. You will learn a few songs that will be sung at the annual M.L.K. service at the Hebrew Center on Friday, Jan. 12, at 5:30 pm, should you be interested in participating.

For those readjusting to school hours, take it slow and know every day is longer. If you’re looking for new activities, be sure to check our local library calendars, offerings (I finally am getting to take Uma Datta’s “Indian Cooking” class), Featherstone Center for the Arts classes, Spindrift Studios, and all the volunteer opportunities listed weekly. Any time you can donate is welcome.

Have a great week.